Chiefs may also be without Travis Kelce against the Lions

Down one key significant player already, the Chiefs may also be without tight end Travis Kelce against the Lions Thursday night.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This side of Patrick Mahomes, the next best two players for the Kansas City Chiefs are defensive tackle Chris Jones and tight end Travis Kelce, in whatever order you'd like to put them. Jones is already not going to play against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night, as his hold out continues. And now, there's possible bad news (if you're the Chiefs) on Kelce.

After Tuesday's practice, the last of the week before Thursday night's game, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Kelce suffered a hyperextended knee during the session. His status for the game is not, naturally and automatically, uncertain.

"Kelce hyperextended his knee today,” So we’ll just see how he does going forward.” “They’re looking at it right now. We’ll just see how it goes.”"

Andy Reid

Defending Kelce has clearly been a primary piece of the Lions' defensive game plan this week. A couple Chiefs players offered when his injury occurred, and (of course) a sentiment it may not be all that serious.

Lions may not have to face a full strength Travis Kelce on Thursday night

Kelce will of course do everything he can to play, but his injury being openly tabbed as an hyperextension of his knee means it'll be a tough turnaround to be a full strength in two days. He'll surely be listed as questionable on the official injury report, unless he's miraculously totally healed overnight before the final injury report comes out Wednesday.

Kelce merely being in uniform will make him a challenge for the Lions' defense. He may not be able to move as well as he would at full health, but he simply does not miss games and an 80 percent version of him (as a hypothetical) is still better than a good chunk of tight ends in the league.

If Kelce can't go Thursday night, Noah Gray would likely become the starting tight end for Kansas City. He had 28 catches for 299 yards and a touchdown last season. Blake Bell is only other tight end in the roster. There's an obvious downgrade there, to go with however the Chiefs' offensive game plan would be altered in Kelce's absence to make it a little easier for the Lions to defend one of the league's best offenses.

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